Beautiful Hair Can Be Yours

hawaiian silky shampoo

 As a country girl,  I can remember pouring a small cup of apple cider vinegar on my hair and then it would become more shiny and manageable. The one thing that I liked about the cider was the smell and that meant that my hair smelled clean. Well, Hawaiian Silky used that same principal when they came up with the Apple Cider Charcoal Activated Products. The shampoo not only cleans your hair , the charcoal strips your hair of chemical and soap buildup . This makes your hair even more manageable and stronger. The best part is that the products in the Apple Cider Vinegar line are for all hair types . Girls with curls will be shouting for joy because the shampoo also eliminates frizz and helps to smooth the hair. It has that all natural smell as well. The black castor oil locks in moisture too. The only thing I didn’t care for it, is I like a shampoo that lathers and this shampoo doesn’t lather that much. But for a product that takes care of your hair that much, a little goes a long way. The conditioner is the perfect partner with the shampoo for sexier hair.

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Gentle Enough for A Baby – Susan Ciminelli Cleansing Milk

Susan_Ciminelli_Cleansing_Milk

 There isn’t anything that is more refreshing at the end of the day then taking off all of that make up and just getting comfy. One of those rituals involves taking off your makeup or your mask to the world. Most make ups are plain stubborn. Well I have found a cleanser that not only takes off the make up , it calms you down and allows you to have a good nights’ sleep.

I had never tried Susan Ciminelli’s products but a sweet friend sent some to me to try. I am so glad that she did.One of those products was the cleansing milk . As an actress, my face has had everything on it from clog pouring pancake to the finest from the department stores and everything in between. It takes off not only the face makeup , but the eye make up as well. And let me tell you, mascara and liner can be stubborn. But there is another factor , the cleansing milk’s so gentle you can use it on babies. It also makes a great pre shave for that man in your life. Best part, Susan uses the most natural ingredients and none of the products are tested on animals. Hey I don’t want to hurt beagles because they are so cute and adorable. Why should we buy products that hurt innocent animals?

I love this cleanser because rather than a cleanser with no fragrance, Susan ‘s ingredients not only moisturizes, it calms with a lavender extract. That allows you to wind down, pour yourself a glass of wine, and then settle down to a restful night of sleep.

For more info:

http://www.susanciminelli.com/

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Neutrogena Body Lotion Passes the Test

neutrogena body lotion

Winter is finally beginning to leave here in the Windy City. That means we need to do some damage control before we start showing that skin. Winter leaves your skin dry and scaly, add shaving and you have itchy skin as well. Neutrogena to the rescue with the Light Sesame  formula of their body lotion.  The reason it moisturizes so well is because it absorbs quickly . Not only that , the sesame oil leaves skin soft. I like to use it when the winter leaves my skin itch as well. My favorite little bath treat is pouring on the Sesame Body Oil it gives my skin a double treat.

neutrogena lotion and oil

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El Tapeo Invites You to Spring Into Tapas!

chef matthew capellini

This evening Jen and I were invited for a special unveiling of the new Spring menu at the Oakbrook restaurant El Tapeo. It was a tapas fest as Chef Matthew Cappellini ‘s creations were served at a VIP tasting in the Le Meridien hotel on the ninth floor. Guests were welcomed with yummy glasses of sangria. With the sweet flavor and fruit , I called the drink Hawaiian punch for adults.

sangria

 Everyone enjoyed networking while sampling some of Chef Cappellini’s dishes. My personal favorites included the Paella de Diablo . This traditional Spanish dish gave off a little spice , but was filled with spicy chorizo, shrimp, chicken, peas, peppers , and spicy aioli.  It presented quite a colorful picture. It was also delicious.

paella

My two favorite tapas included the Viera Borracha and Croquettas de Pollo . I fell in love with the tarragon mustard dip that accompanied the croquettes. They were so good that Jen insisted on a plate of them to munch on.

scallops

chicken croquettes

But the one dish that absolutely captured my heart was the Tarta de Rujubabo . The rhubarb and strawberry tart took me back to my late grandmother’s strawberry and rhubarb jelly. But the mint puree and champagne sorbet certainly added to the dainty dessert.

rhubarb and strawberry tart

Diego Alonso entertained guests and set the tone with his Spanish guitar

diego alonso

Everyone was so friendly and hospitable, especially Melanie. We bonded and she told me about how awesome that Le Meredien was. I told her that we will definitely come back to enjoy the hotel and the great shopping .

Melanie and Melanie

El Tapa is located in the beautiful Oakbrook Center at the Le Meridien hotel. Come to the ninth floor bistro for a taste experience that you won’t soon forget.

flowers

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The Votes Are In! Tony’s Dish is a Winner!

tony cooks

It is very hard to balance a career when you are a tv star and a family man, but “Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn manages to do it. He is also a gourmet cook and has appeared on such shows as “The Chew ” and “The Rachel Ray Show.” to show off his cooking talent. But how can a man direct a hit show, campaign for a presidential candidate, and manage to provide a healthy meal for his family and friends?

Recently Rachel Ray had given Tony a challenge . She had given him a recipe for pasta night. The recipe was quick and easy and perfect for Lent. It was Leeky Linguine with Shrimp . We had some leftover shrimp and I learned about leeks when I made the dish several weeks ago. Rachel is known for her famous quick and easy 30 minute meals.

rachel ray

But I am not a gourmet cook, but I can manage to work in a kitchen. I took Rachel and Tony’s challenge and made the dish. The shrimp and pasta dish was perfect for a Lenten meal, so you can make it for one of the remaining Fridays. I cooked the shrimp and pasta , combining all of the other ingredients together. The lemon zest added to the mixture and I actually enjoyed doing the lemon. I also learned that when you clean leeks, you need to cut them and soak them in water to get the gritty part out of the leek. What were the results? Pasta made my favorite way ..al dente. I don’t like overcooked pasta.

leeky linguine with shrimp

Make sure you wash the leeks really well to remove all dirt and grit that can hide in the stalks!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh linguine
  • 4 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise and washed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley (a generous handful)

Preparation

In a bowl, toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO, the lemon peel, garlic and crushed red pepper; season with salt and black pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, season with salt and black pepper and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Push the leeks to the side of the pan, add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until pink and firm. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the pasta to the skillet; season with salt and black pepper. Add the parsley and toss.

vermont dream

Hey do you suppose after Fitz leaves the WH , he will do the cooking for the couple? Probably, unless they expect to be eating popcorn a lot!

 

 

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She Sparkles on the Red Carpet – Thanks to Neutrogena

kerry-washington-at-golden-globes

Ah award season! The culmination of a year of accolades for a great performance. Hollywood gathers for an evening as the world watches. For Kerry Washington, the world watched as this diva walked the Red Carpet from the Emmy’s to the SAG Awards for her work as Anita Hill in HBO’s “Confirmation.” Kerry always manages to shine thanks to her make up artist who always uses Neutrogena cosmetics. Find out how Kerry achieved her Red Carpet looks.

First Kerry washed her face with the brand new Neutrogena Hydro Boost Cleanser to give Carola Gonzalez a clean slate to work with. It purifies and moisturizes.

neutrogena hydro boost gel

Before the make up artist started on Kerry, she used a product that I have grown to love. Perfect for the brutal Chicago winters. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel hydrates the skin and keeps it smooth. The gel acts like a cream and keeps the skin supple. It makes a great base before make up is applied.

hydro boost gel

Wind and hot lights can make lips chapped and rough. To give a flawless look , try this trick. Put some of the Hydrating Lip Treatment on your lips before applying lip stick or lip gloss. Before application, blot your lips.

hydro boost lip treatment

Not all of us are as fortunate as Kerry and  blessed with full lips. With the Neutrogena Hydrating lip shine, it not only colors and moisturizes .It actually plumps the lips. The color is as vibrant as a lip stick adding shine .

With the new concealer and special Hydrating Boost Tint , the canvas takes form and imperfections are covered up. The tint contains hydrolauric acid which seals in moisture and hydrates the skin. It gives great coverage and gives the skin a healthy look as well. Neutrogena is also proud to feature more shades of their skin products so that women like Kerry can shine and the products enhance their skin tones.

Neutrogena-Hydro-Boost-Hydrating-Tint

Between the different eye products, Kerry is made ready for her walk down the Red Carpet. She is so gorgeous and always makes such a good impression. And its all thanks to Neutrogena.

kerry in full pose.jpg

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Chocolate Bon Bons Are A Treat For Your Eyes-Too Faced Eye Shadow Pallete

too-faced-bon-bons

Today starts Lent and one of the messages of Lent is that you should give something up. Sacrificing makes you a stronger person. Well I found some treats that you don’t have to give up , the best part is that these chocolates don’t contain any calories.

Recently I have become a fan of the brand of make up called Too Faced. They don’t want make up to be serious business, they want it to be fun. My first experience with the brand was a blush and bronzer compact for Valentines last year that was named after famous tv couples. It was heart shaped and called Ross and Rachel. This past Christmas they introduced the “Christmas in New York ” gifts. It conjured up images of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Audrey Hepburn strolling down Fifth Avenue shopping at Christmas time. The gift set contains blushes, eye shadows and a few other goodies like mascara and one of the patented Too Face Melted Kiss lip stick and also an eye shadow primer.  My latest addition to my make up collection is one of their fun Chocolate Bon Bon eye shadow pallettes. Just like the Christmas gift set, the make ups are infused with chocolate powders and come with fun names like Praline, Truffle, and Cotton Candy.   It is all girly with its powder pink compact that is small enough to fit into that Michael Kors. Take it anywhere. My favorite part is the little maps that give easy step by step color instructions because not all of us are MUAs . Anyone can get that glam look for an event . As a blogger and an actress, it isn’t always possible to get made up for that event. Too Faced sets help give me that polished look.  They can be found at Sephoras and online at http://www.toofaced.com It’s the chocolate you can indulge in without guilt.

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